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Pak Rafi, RAPP former employee

M. Rafi remembers when not many people understood his decision to leave his stable job of 15 years at PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP), part of APRIL Group.

Many of his colleagues at the time called him ‘stupid’ for leaving and choosing to start his own business.

“I was in a comfortable position as a supervisor and making a good income. So it was understandable that they saw me as crazy then,” Rafi, 42, said.

Born and raised on the banks of the Kampar River in Pelalawan, Riau in Indonesia, Rafi never imagined being the success he is today.

Eco Green School RAPP

Imagine a school integrated with lush natural greenery where students are able to learn directly about the environment - from the environment.

That’s the atmosphere that students are experiencing at the Global Andalan Elementary Schools established by PT Riau Andalan Pulp and Paper (RAPP) in the company’s Logas and Pelalawan estates.

This is because the company has established Eco Green Parks next to the schools, all in a bid to further support the improvement of quality education in Indonesia.

Eco Green Parks – land areas comprising greenhouses, compost fertilizer production houses, cottages, simple technology dams, plantations and learning huts – provide students with the opportunity to stimulate their curiousity about forestry and agriculture by exploring the available facilities.

At 27 years old, Maggie Vency Maretha is currently the youngest R&D scientist working at APRIL Group.

Yet, Maggie can also lay claim to another accomplishment – she is one of the youngest employees to have ever received a scholarship from the company to continue her studies overseas.

Maggie was only 23 years old when she first joined APRIL in 2014, after graduating with a biotechnology degree from the University of Surabaya in Indonesia.

But she always had a dream of studying abroad - one which was fulfilled after working at APRIL for just 1.5 years.

“While working at the company, I was told that there is a chance for me to continue my studies overseas,” she said.

“When will the next edition of the comics be coming out? Can we get more copies of the comics for our school library? Are you visiting our school again? When will that be?”

These are just some of the questions that APRIL’s Fire Aware Community (FAC) Project Officer Riana Ekawati has been receiving from eager students and principals from various schools in Indonesia over the past year.

Riana has been hard at work introducing and enhancing fire prevention awareness among young students at 81 schools (51 elementary schools and 30 junior high schools) in 2017.

An offshoot of APRIL’s Fire Free Village Program (FFVP), the FAC was introduced in 2016 as a way to introduce communities to fire-free concepts and initiatives through a range of community awareness and engagement activities.

One of them is the Schools Awareness Program, which sees elementary and junior high school students developing fire awareness by participating in interactive workshops and discussions, as well as consuming engaging publications.

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